Bernice Olivarez-Ilas fumbled with a bogey on the 18th for a 72 and missed grabbing a share of the lead in the second round of the Esprit Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur Championship at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling late Thursday.
Catching Lin Jie-en of Taiwan in the lead heading to the final hole, Olivarez-Ilas sliced her drive into the rough, missed the green and failed to get up and down from 20 feet, enabling Lin to seize the solo lead with a second straight 72 and a 144 heading to the final round of the 54-hole tournament won by Princess Superal last year.
“The important thing is we have a good chance to repeat as champion. I just have to be more consistent in the last day,” said the 15-year-old Oilvarez-Ilas of Team The Country Club, who pooled a 145, including an opening 73.
The two other Filipina bets also stayed in the title hunt with young Annyka Cayabyan also matching par 72 to move with two at 146 in a tie with erstwhile joint Taiwanese leaders Hou Yu-sang and Huang Yu-ping, who fumbled with identical 75s.
Local ace Isabella Leung carded a 73 to assemble a 147 while the other TCC mainstay Sofia Chabon turned in a second 74 for a 148.
“The key is to hit it straight and through since there are so many trouble spots around. Putting will also be the key here,” added Olivarez-Ilas, who has won a pro tournament in the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour last year.
Hong Kong’s Hu Jing, who also shared the opening round lead with a 71, struggled all day and skied to a 77 and tumbled to joint seventh with Chabon at 148 along with compatriot Chan Cheuk and Taiwanese Chen Hsuan, who both had 74s.